Kai Zeng, a computer science graduate student in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, brought home first place in the Lucid Programming Competition. Zeng competed among 260 participants from across the western United States in the hackathon. The outer space-themed challenge required contestants to solve 12 mathematic and algorithm problems such as Six Degrees of Neil Armstrong and Antimatter Annihilation.
Although he hadn’t done any algorithmic problem solving for a while, Zeng decided to enter the contest just to brush up on those skills. “I think algorithm skills should be exercised regularly,” he said. “I plan to participate in more programming competitions in the future to continue to improve my thinking and coding abilities.”
Zeng is a master’s degree student with a research focus on distributed systems and machine learning, advised by Associate Professor Lizhong Chen.
“Zeng’s excellent programming skills have helped his research significantly,” said Chen.
Students interested in cybersecurity flocked to the Raytheon Capture the Flag (CTF) event hosted by Christopher Stricklan of Raytheon SI on March 7, 2014. Computer science student Daniel Reichert was the top winner at the event, receiving a $50 Amazon gift card and a spot in Raytheon’s intern pool.
The event provided an opportunity for students to learn more about cybersecurity, an increasingly important field as computing technologies become more pervasive and cyber attacks more sophisticated.
The event also underscored Oregon State University’s growing presence in cybersecurity research, according to Assistant Professor Mike Rosulek of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Rosulek, who specializes in the theory of cryptography, said he was already getting emails from students before he started his position here in fall 2013. Continue reading →
Even in a sluggish economy, industries are still struggling to recruit computer science graduates. So, keeping students interested throughout their education is a common goal for both industry and educators.
Engaging the best talent as freshman is the aim of the Intel Learning Company (ILC), a joint project by the Intel Corporation and OSU’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Supervised by faculty members Carlos Jensen and Kevin McGrath, the students work in teams on real projects to gain valuable work-ready skills in programming, teamwork and leadership.
“We’re really emphasizing experiential learning and challenging students beyond what they can do right now,” said Terri Fiez, head of EECS.
Armed with their new skills, ILC students found summer work programming, teaching, performing research and community outreach. Students credited the ILC with helping to secure opportunities and be successful in their positions. They applied their lessons in networking, communication skills, problems solving, and workflow, and found having a broader range of experiences with programming languages made them more employable.